28 May 2020
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Fisheries Officers are reminding fishers to ensure they’re following the rules after six fishers were apprehended illegally fishing on a designated dive site on the NSW Central Coast.
NSW DPI Acting Director, Fisheries Compliance, Dr Andrew Moriarty, said fisheries officers have recorded a rise in reports of illegal fishing at the Ex HMAS Adelaide Reserve.
“Fisheries Officers responded to information received from the public on April 23, apprehending six people illegally fishing within the Ex-HMAS Adelaide Reserve,” Dr Moriarty said.
“Fishing is prohibited within the Ex-HMAS Adelaide Reserve as it is a designated dive site.
“Offences are punishable by a fine of up to $22,000- or 6-months imprisonment, or both.”
The six people were issued with 6 penalty notices and 5 written cautions for offences detected within the wreck Reserve.
They were issued $2,700 in fines including for prohibited sized fish, which carries a penalty of up to $22,000- or 6-months imprisonment, or both.
“With an increase in recreational fishing activities, Fisheries Officers are targeting unlawful and illegal recreational fishing and continue to patrol NSW waterways whilst COVID-19 restrictions across the community are in place,” Dr Moriarty said.
“These fishing restrictions are in place to protect all water users competing for space.
“There are plenty of places to wet a line in NSW, including a designated Offshore Artificial Reef, located at Newcastle.
“All fishing regulations are in place to protect and conserve our fish stocks and aquatic habitats to ensure that fishing activities remain sustainable.
“The State's fisheries are a community-owned resource. We all have a responsibility to protect and safeguard this natural asset for present and future generations.”
People are encouraged to report all suspected illegal fishing activities by calling the Fishers Watch phoneline on 1800 043 536 or via www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/compliance
EX-HMAS Adelaide fishing closure details https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/closures/location-closures/ex-hmas-adelaide-reserve
Media contact: (02) 6391 3686